Upgrading Pangkor Airport? Develop island too, say tourism industry players

John Bunyan
Perak Tourism Association president Datuk Mohammad Odzman Abdul Kadir said that the tourism stakeholders have long been in favour of an airport on Pangkor Island. — Bernama pic

IPOH, May 22 — Tourism industry players in Perak have welcomed the government’s plan to upgrade Pangkor Airport, but also hope that the promotions and developments on the island are up to standard and in accordance with the move.

Perak Tourism Association president Datuk Mohammad Odzman Abdul Kadir said that tourism stakeholders have always been in favour of an airport on Pangkor Island.

“However, our concerns are centred on the promotion and marketing efforts and the upgrading of hotels and resorts on the island plus the activities and tourism product as a whole.

“Once that is looked into, I guess we may also welcome sea planes. Anything to restore our status as the best island resort on the Peninsular’s west coast,” he told Malay Mail.

Last Saturday, the Perak government announced its plans to upgrade Pangkor Airport to attract more tourists to the island.

State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said he would also be meeting several parties including Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad next week to discuss ways to boost tourist arrivals on the island.

Tan also said that the government is planning to launch direct flights from Ipoh’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang and other Malaysian aviation hubs to Pangkor.

Meanwhile, Aidil Travels and Tour Sdn Bhd CEO Mohamad Hisam Mohamad Yusof said industry players in Pangkor should be ready for change as they will be expecting a lot of foreign visitors once the airport has been upgraded.

“We might need more five-star hotels and resorts to accommodate them. The upgrading of the airport will definitely attract more tourists, as Pangkor is in the process of becoming a duty-free island too,” he said.

“This also means Pangkor will be a second gateway for visitors to Perak, and with the West Coast Expressway, which is about to be completed, this is more assuring than ever,” he added.

Mohamad Hisam also said upgrading the airport will not affect the island’s existing ferry service.

“Domestic visitors, especially those from Perak and neighbouring states, will still prefer the ferry as the mode of transportation to the island,” he said.

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